Day 76: Getting People to Church

Acts 13:42-45 :

So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. The next Sabbath almost the whole city was gathered together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed.

Grace really is amazing and this passage is evidence of it. Whether we know it or not, Grace is what we really need. God designed The Law to make God’s grace more glorious and when the grace of God was clearly spoken to those under the Law, they immediately flocked to hear the message. In a single week, the synagogue was filled by “almost the whole city.”

Why don’t people flock to our churches today? There may be other reasons, but here are a couple that I can see. The grace of God is either not being preached, or the Law of God is being avoided. Without grace, you are stuck in sin. Without the Law, there really isn’t a clear need for Grace.

When Grace is preached without the Law, people are in the dark about their true condition. Grace really only helps people who know that they are breaking the Law, but if you don’t know the Law or the fact that you are breaking it, it is difficult to see how bad off you really are. When you see how bad you are, then Grace becomes truly amazing to you as you witness the wonder of God’s love for sinners.

On the other hand, if all you hear about is the Law, you eventually give up and stay away from that place that exposes your impotence. Without hearing about God’s Grace, people will probably only come to church out of duty and hurry home before they sin in front of someone.

The fact is, the Law is necessary to condemn us and Grace is necessary to set us free. When people in prison are shown the way out, they run for the door. Our churches should be a doorway out of prison. We must uphold the law of God as a mirror to reveal that people are in prison and then simply show them the Door.

We can still expect to find resistance. There are some who want to keep sinning and still get glory from the crowds. They will go so far as to blaspheme God as we read here.